KIPP NYC College Prep High School, Class of 2017; New York University, Class of 2021
From any angle, Mykel Agyenim-Boateng is an exceptional young man. His accomplishments range from being a published musical artist who plays guitar, bass, saxophone, piano, drums, to securing a full-time job on Wall Street before his senior year of college. However, what is most striking about Mykel is his deep gratitude for the influence his parents and his education have had on his life.
Mykel’s father moved his family from Ghana to the Bronx when Mykel was a child. His father drove a cab to support the family while he also went to Lehman College to get his Masters in Math; he now teaches that subject at a local middle school. Mykel’s mother, who had a high-profile job in the office of the former President of Ghana, H.E. Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (recently demised), had to start over when she came to New York. She is now getting her undergraduate degree at Lehman College with the goal of becoming a business intelligence analyst after graduation. Mykel reflects on his family’s impact:
“Seeing [my father’s] transition from struggling to make ends meet to pushing himself through undergrad and a Masters at Lehman has been a motivating factor for me. I get my drive and motivation from my parents. Despite their circumstances, they never failed to push themselves.”
Mykel’s determination to make the most of his situation is now paying off. He started his career in finance after NYU sophomore year as a summer intern at Glenview Capital Management. Last year, he was a Summer Analyst in sales and trading at UBS. In August, he received a full-time offer from UBS. How did he turn a Wall Street summer internship into a full-time offer while working remotely during a pandemic?
“I knew no matter what, connecting with people was the most important. I would introduce myself and set up a Skype meeting. They were able to put a face to my name and make a connection immediately. We had to be creative about the work we could do. I found little ways to add value and make things easier.”
Mykel’s first role at UBS after NYU graduation will be in Global Franchise Sales, selling proprietary research and trading solutions to hedge funds and family offices. Mykel attributes his career success to the effort and care he has put into his studies, relationships, and previous jobs. Along with his UBS career, he is looking forward to continuing to perform. He recently self-published an album and he is a member of his church band.
Mykel shares the effect that his family and McClenty Hunter, KIPP Academy’s music teacher, orchestra leader, and renowned jazz musician, have had on his music career:
“I first got interested in the church when I was seven years old. They were trying to build their ministry, but didn’t have resources to pay musicians. But we didn’t have drums at home, so I played for 30 minutes after church so not to bother my neighbors at home. I’d make a drum set with pillows every night. I knew from then on I needed to make this music a part of me. When I heard there was an orchestra at KIPP Academy Middle School, I was so excited.”
Looking back on his journey from Ghana to the Bronx to Wall Street, Mykel cites KIPP as a major influence on his success:
“I can’t emphasize enough how influential KIPP’s support has been throughout my journey. I’ve made sure to take advantage of every opportunity that has been presented to me by KIPP whether it is the SAT prep, career fairs, resume building, working on elevator pitches, or all the various alumni networking events. Knowing that I have a strong network of people from KIPP is such a valuable thing for me. It’s imperative that I, or anyone else that comes across a network like KIPP, leverage the resources available to ensure success, give back, and help others succeed as well.”
We are grateful for you, Mykel, for sharing your talents with the world. We are very much looking forward to following your career and rooting for your continued success.